Caribbean Economy and Slavery: the West African Coast Was the Source of the Caribbean’s Labour from the 1500s to the 1800s Much to the Detriment of Africa’s Development and Progress. Justify This Statement Outlining

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Section A Theme 2 – Caribbean Economy and Slavery The West African Coast was the source of the Caribbean’s labour from the 1500s to the 1800s much to the detriment of Africa’s Development and Progress. Justify this statement outlining and assessing the way(s) in which the slave trade impacted West African societies. (35 marks) Slavery is commonly defined as “the condition in which one human being owns another”. A slave is consequently considered the property of that person and is thus deprived of rights which are commonly held by free persons.[1] Slavery has existed on almost all continents throughout recorded history. The Chinese and Egyptians were some of the earliest known examples of institutionalized slavery, as were the…show more content…
Powerful African rulers supplied African captives when it was in their best interests, but they usually only sold smaller states or ‘stateless’ villages and only sold the criminals and outcasts of their own societies.[14] This in turn caused them to become more suspicious of being overrun and it coarsened them and warped their societies. Another consequence of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade and slavery was an increase in the general level of war within the West African interior, as the European presence on the coast offered apparently high prices for war captives, and so war became increasingly profitable in the short-term. In the long-term, it caused a great economic loss in the region’s production, as it sowed the seeds of self-destruction in the region and led to communities ‘eating their own children’.[15] In addition, within the tribes (e.g. the Yoruba or Hausa) there would be a change from male hereditary rule to a system whereby the strongest person would rule. Competition for leadership would prompt civil war among the tribes and increased political instability would occur.[16] Some would feel that each new ‘alpha male’ leader would lack the legitimacy found in a hereditary leader, which would only further encourage civil war. As the Africans continued to fight amongst themselves in their tribes, they became more susceptible to war

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